Synthpop star Owl City -- real name Adam Young -- got a major boost for his fourth studio album, The Midsummer Station, out Tuesday, Aug.21, in the form of Canadian pop phenom Carly Rae Jepsen.
The Call Me Maybe hitmaker agreed to appear alongside him on the first single, Good Time.
"It's crazy, I sort of dreamed big," said Young, relaxing on a sunny afternoon on Toronto's Sugar Beach recently.
"I just had the instrumental and I thought, 'It'd be great to get a strong female lead to sing verse 2.' Honestly, I thought, 'Yeah, right, it'll probably never happen with Carly Rae.' "
Then it turned out their managers had grown up together and were friends.
"Those two kind of connected the dots and put us together," said Young. "And my track found its way into her inbox, and she heard it. I think she was in Ottawa at the time and she said, 'I love the track, let me know what I can do.' ... She recorded her parts and sent them back over the Internet. And it was great."
In fact, Jepsen -- a native of Mission, B.C. -- was an early fan of Owl City, who broke through with his hit song, Fireflies, a few years ago, and had even attended a couple of his shows in Vancouver.
"I had no idea, so when I first introduced myself on e-mail, I said, 'I'm Adam Young, this is what I do.' She said, 'Yeah, I know, I've been to your shows. I get it.'"
Of course, it's not the first time Young has attracted the attention of a hot young female singer.
Previously, country-pop phenom Taylor Swift took her appreciation one step further, writing a song about him called Enchanted on her 2010 album, Speak Now, and naming her perfume, Wonderstruck, after a word he used in an e-mail to her.
"It's an honour, she's a sweet girl," said Young of Swift. "I admire both (her and Jepsen) because of the way that they kind of carry themselves, and obviously for their music, and obviously the way they portray it and their art. I've always been a big fan of that kind of breathy, female, innocent vocal tone, and Carly fit the bill. She's awesome."
Another guest artist on The Midsummer Station is Mark Hoppus of blink-182, who appears on the song, Dementia.
Young also sought out co-writers and co-producers for the first time, pushing the envelope on his previously solitary creative process at his own Sky Harbour studios in his native Owatonna, Minn., where he still lives.
"I had always played this thing so close to the chest," he said. "Inviting other people to come in and co-pilot this thing that has always been so dear to me was a little scary, because you're not sure what's going to happen. But, ultimately, having that other person in the room was so helpful in steering this record -- keeping it less left-of-centre and more to a place where more people can relate to it."
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